St David's College, Lampeter: Photographic collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises original photographs of various dates with some additional photocopied images, and relates primarily to the life of the College from the 1880s onwards. Approximately one-third of the images concern the College buildings and the campus at various stages of its developmental and architectural history. A large proportion of the remaining images are group portraits representing various aspects of College life at Lampeter. These include Degree Day congregations, processions, special events such as the opening of new buildings on campus or significant College anniversaries, student rag activities, Amateur Dramatic productions, various College sports teams and other College Clubs and Associations. Unfortunately a large number of these are undated, and some of the groups are as yet unidentified. In addition there are a number of portraits of individuals closely connected with the College, such as its Founder, Bishop Thomas Burgess and several of its early Principals, Vice-Principals and benefactors. The collection also contains a small number of photographs relating to the town of Lampeter and its people. These include various views of the town, images of the celebrated Lampeter Horse Fair (Ffair Dalis), and photographs of a few documents of local interest.

Administrative / Biographical History

St David's College was founded by Bishop Thomas Burgess in 1822, and admitted its first students on March 1st 1827. It has the distinction of being the oldest university institution in England and Wales after Oxford and Cambridge. In 1971 the College became a full member of the University of Wales, and was thereafter known as St. David's University College. This title of the institution was again changed in 1996 when it was re-named the University of Wales, Lampeter, (in order that it should be in line with the other constituent institutions of the University of Wales). The campus has developed greatly since the College first opened. The original Old Building was designed by C.R. Cockerell, who also designed Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and was co-architect of the Fitzwilliam Museum, also in Cambridge. It was a self-contained building, housing the Chapel, original library, dining-hall, lecture-rooms and residential accommodation, all arranged around a central quadrangle. It was joined in 1897 by the original Canterbury Building, which had to be demolished in 1971 for structural reasons - the new Canterbury Building was opened in 1973. A spate of building work in the 1960s and 1970s transformed the look of the campus. The new library building was opened by Prince Philip in 1967. Harford halls of residences were built in this era, as was Lloyd Thomas Hall, with new refectory attached. The Arts Building appeared in 1971. Later additions to campus include the Media Centre, Students Union building, additional Halls of Residence and the Cliff Tucker Theatre.

Conditions Governing Access

The papers may be consulted through application to Peter Hopkins, Curator, Roderic Bowen Library and Archives, Trinity Saint David, Ceredigion, SA48 7ED. Tel 01570 424716, email:

Other Finding Aids

An item level word-processed handlist is available in the Founders' Library, University of Wales, Lampeter. It is also available online at

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Carol Dery, Founders' Library, University of Wales, Lampeter, for Archives Network Wales, January 2006

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions are made at the discretion of the Archivist and/or Photo-reprographics Manager. They are supplied for research purposes only on payment of the required fee. Images may not be reproduced or published without further permission and payment of an additional reproduction fee.